HOPE*ann*FAITH

Learning to Live , Again, On Purpose.


7 Comments

What I’ve Learned Practicing Silence | Tuesday @ Ten


Welcome. Tuesday is the day I join the writers over on Karen Beth’s blog, Finding the Grace Within for her Tuesday at Ten blog Link up.

It’s simple, be creative with the prompt: writing, art or whatever your craft may be, you have 1 week to create and link up at that bottom of Karen’s page so that others can link up with you. Be sure to visit your “link up” neighbor and spread the joy of connection! Just follow the link above. Looking forward to your post.

Today’s Prompt ….

SilenceSilence …

I used to loath silence, mostly because either there was noisy chaos or absolute silence when I was a child. So I became an adult who required background noise; even if it is white noise; like the sound of the blades for a fan beating at the soft, sweet autumn breeze coming through the window or hitting the floor on a cold winters night.

I dreamed, though, of a silence that feels like my fall blossom photo above. Sweet autumn breezes with the smell of fresh grass and wild flowers. The sun adding a touch of warmth on the breeze and those pretty rainbow dots before your eyes, for the staring at it’s bright, late afternoon rays.

And that, my dear friends, is as romantic as this girl gets. =)

I don’t loath the peaceful silence quite so much anymore; maybe at night when Hutchland is asleep. But there isn’t much loathing of the peaceful kind of silence anymore.

Silence brings scripture to mind, mostly because silence has become a practice of waiting on God.

“The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent.” Exodus 14:14

Some versions say “The Lord will fight for you and you will keep your peace”. Either way this is one of the very first scriptures I latched onto as I began my walk in Christ. Coming from chaos, a true son of wrath, I had to learn to be silent and  peaceful. I had to learn to put down my emotional and mental weapons and allow God to fight for me while I was quiet. Not easy for the tenacious girl that I was, or the tenacious woman that I’ve become.

But I was diligent to learn peace and silence. Or should I say accept peace and silence?

It’s been years and years of diligence and it remains a discipline that I must practice. A friend taught me to disregard my first three thoughts before I reacted with words. NOW that was hard! I possess a quick wit and the skill of sarcasm, as if it were my native tongue; like I said a true son of wrath. I learned though, the art of the action of silence. No words.

I am a wordsmith, I’ve been told, but I no longer use it as a weapon. =) I allow God to fight for me, most times.

My silence, however, is just as effective as my cutting words were. In some of my relationships it has caused some to pause and tread with caution, which allowed me a rare insight into how I affect other,s or not.

I found that silence is a tool in and of itself.

A soft answer turns away wrath,” Proverbs 15:1a

And silence stops it. Eventually.

Being silent has allowed me to find a peaceful place within myself, the act of being, where I can confer with God before I say anything to anyone or any situation. I’ve even found that in that silent, peaceful place I don’t have to respond at all; that my voice is not always needed. That was a hard lesson for this wordy girl. I naturally want to explain or lecture or just be heard.

But SILENCE is sometimes much louder than a voice. It stops people. It raises the hair on the back of my neck sometimes. And other times it seems to expand within me; a peacefulness that I cannot put into words, though it has a name. The Holy Spirit.

So now I sit here with just the sound of that fan, it’s been warm these last few days here at the Jersey Shore, and the soft breathing of Buster at my feet and find I’m finally content with silence. I can finally curl up in it and listen to all those sounds that actually make up silence. The singing of birds gathering to train for the journey south (we call them town hall meetings, Hubs and I.), the distant whooshing sound of the cars passing on the main road a block away, even the crickets and Hazel, the beagle, barking for the joy of being outside, next door.

The symphony of today’s silence.

It all allows me, finally, to be able to sit and wait on God, in every circumstance of my life.

Silence is no longer lonely. It is quality time with Father, hashing out this journey I walk with Him. It is time to ponder the blessings and enjoy my life no matter what is going on.

Silence is Peace; and Peace is a person. Jesus. So I’ll end this here and …

Be still, and know that He is God.” Psalm 46:10

Thanks for reading!

Andrea

Andrea

Just for a smile here is Buster … my sweet pup.

Buster.

Buster.

Tomorrow begins the 31 Days of writing challenge!

Click my button below and it will bring you to my 31 Day page. Where I will put the links to each of my 31 posts, making it easy for you, my dear readers to find them throughout the month.

On this introductory page are the links to the two different challenges that I will be participating in. Follow those links there for the rules and the themes if you want to use them.

 

31 Days Journey to Healing

31 Days Journey to Healing

Tuesday @ Ten

Tuesday @ Ten

 


4 Comments

I Know Where My Hope Comes From*Looking UP | Tuesday@Ten


Nothing is Impossible in Him

Nothing is Impossible in Him

Welcome. Tuesday is the day I join the writers over on Karen Beth’s blog, Finding the Grace Within for her Tuesday at Ten blog Link up.

It’s simple, be creative with the prompt: writing, art or whatever your craft may be, you have 1 week to create and link up at that bottom of Karen’s page so that others can link up with you. Be sure to visit your “link up” neighbor and spread the joy of connection! Just follow the link above. Looking forward to your post.

Today’s Prompt ….

HOPE!

 

OH, how I’ve hoped these last 12 months.

Hoped and prayed and prayed and hoped. All the time knowing where my hope was founded. My hope is firm on the Corner Stone.

He is Lord … Lord of All!

I have vacillated though, back and forth, in my faith … forgetting to rely upon the faith that is based on the grace of God, but rather relying on the building of my own faith in my exhaustion. Forgetting that Jesus said to roll my works upon Him and to trust Him wholly. Proverbs 16:3.

You see we forget in our human-ness. We forget that He is made strong in us when we are at our weakest! Oh how the relief and peace of His tenderness cascaded over my physical and spiritual self when I remembered.

Amazing Love! Amazing Hope!

The Hubs shared something last night that I’ve been praying and hoping for! I’ve been praying that he would use God’s wisdom in his decision making about his treatments. I finally came to the place that all good and supportive and God guided helpmeets come to. I came to a place that allowed me to, no matter what, no matter how scared or selfish or heartbroken, support whatever decision he made.

You see he wants to quit the chemo, even if the doctor advises against it. He’s terribly frustrated and hates to be down and sick and tired. These things are his kryptonite. He says cancer isn’t killing him that the chemo is killing him and these things are products of the chemo.

His Laughter - My Favorite Sound.

His Laughter – My Favorite Sound.

And then hope … He gave me a glimmer of hope with what he shared last night. He said: “Stopping is my intention, we will see.”

Now let me give you the full picture here. The whole year, especially when they told us that it had moved to the liver, he’s been saying he was going to stop; and each time my heart would sink and my head would spin. I sometimes actually felt faint. I knew that this statement was stealing my peace, my sanity and my hope.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

That statement was stealing my faith. I was forgetting. Then something woke me up. “The chemo is killing me, not the cancer.” The Hubs had decided from day one that this was not going to end him. He declared that and God heard him. But I had begun to fade … I was relying on my faith … not the faith I was given through grace. I was trying to have faith in my own power and I’d hear him say that he was going to stop and I would fade some more.

But then he gave me HOPE! God had heard my prayers too! He always does and he always answers often immediately.

Faith and Trust allow us to hope for what we see as impossible. We mustn’t let these things fade! We mustn’t forget about that faith we were given by grace. And we must not forget that Grace is a person!

I am grateful for Grace and for the hope The Hubs gave me last night! This is the last week of scheduled chemo and then there are some tests and the doc will return with a report.

My HOPE is that that report will come back as no further treatment needed, even as I cannot see it.

Because I know where my Hope comes from … My.HOPE.Is.In.The.LORD.

Psalm 121

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
 The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.

What is your hope today? Please join us and share your hope today.

Andrea

Andrea

 

Tuesday @ Ten

Tuesday @ Ten


1 Comment

31 Day Challenge! Coming October 1st: A Daily Five Minute Journey to Healing in the Word!


31 Days Journey to Healing

31 Days Journey to Healing

   Coming October 1st!

A 31 Day writing challenge with a theme!

Mine is to Journey through the healing scriptures for Five Minutes a day.

The Five Minutes is a double challenge from Kate Motaung @ Five Minute Fridays!

It just so happens 5 minutes is something I can do each day, writing wise. Though the scriptures will be predetermined as I press into the God’s promises for our healing. =)

So hop on over to Kate blog: Heading Home for the 31 day challenge info.

Hope you choose to join us … it’s a great way to connect with fellow writers with like minds, not to mention the encouragement that comes with this community.

Thanks for stopping by and reading.

Andrea

Andrea

Follow my blog with Bloglovin


6 Comments

What I Hold onto ~ Psalm 91 | FMF Post


 

Psalm 91

Psalm 91

It’s Friday, almost, again and I’m joining the Five Minute Friday group again. Just five minutes of writing what’s on my heart, from my heart, without worry about the perfection of my words. No edits, no spell checks just my heart and this blinking cursor in this WordPress box!

You can join us! If you need the skinny on the hows and whys check here.

This weeks prompt is … Hold!

… and Go!

Holding on is what I do these days.

I hold onto my emotions and my faith. I hold onto The Hubs, for dear life. I hold onto the memories we have and the memories we are making each day.

I hold onto a lot …

While I let go of much. We all do, hold on as we journey through this life letting go of the excess and the unneeded and undesirable of our old selves. It’s an odd thing to become aware of the holding on and letting go simultaneously. Yet we must do both simultaneously, I find.

I let go of who I am today as I hold on for dear life of who I have become into tomorrow … with those mercies God gives us new each day. Mercies I believe relieve of me of who I was yesterday as I become the WHO God intended me to be, even as I get to know her today. And as I journey through the who-s of who I have been and come to terms with the who I am right now I HOLD ON to God promises!

Promises of hope and future and prosperity and abundance. Promises of healing and mercies anew in the mornings. His promise of His peace and His grace!

And there is no better place to find these promises and repeat them eternally to hold them within our hearts than Psalm 91

Psalm 91 holds every single promise God has ever extended to us as His children!

EVERY.SINGLE.ONE. … Amazing right? And  there’s more! Verses 14-16 are a personal letter from Father God to us, each, individually!

A love letter to hold in your hand and in your heart!

Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God

Psalm 91 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”

Now my friends … in verses 14-16 replace the “he” and “his” with your name and realize how dearly Father holds you! He holds you so dearly to Himself that He honors YOU … it’s right there in verse 15! Now hold onto that!

STOP!

This is my go to scripture … I’ve had a few over the years but was introduced to the reality of this Psalm by my pastor at a very scary time in my life [at the time]. Since then much scarier things have occurred so I continue to HOLD onto these scriptures, these promises that are for me and for YOU and for EVERY.ONE.

Thanks for stopping by and reading, again. What does the prompt this week hold for you? I can’t wait to find out. Now, go on … join us and share your heart. =)

Andrea

Andrea

 


4 Comments

Whose [Choice] is it anyway? | Tuesday at Ten


Welcome. Tuesday is the day I join the writers over on Karen Beth’s blog, Finding the Grace Within for her Tuesday at Ten blog Link up.

It’s simple, be creative with the prompt: writing, art or whatever your craft may be, you have 1 week to create and link up at that bottom of Karen’s page so that others can link up with you. Be sure to visit your “link up” neighbor and spread the joy of connection! Just follow the link above. Looking forward to your post.

Today’s Prompt ….

Choice … Go.

Deuteronomy 30: 14-16

No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

Choices … we all have them. Big ones, little ones and ones that change everything. It’s all in the choosing really. We are bound by no rules, just suggestions that we are free to choose from by our free will. But do we really know this?

Free will. The will to choose what we want, what we need … choices.

But what about those life changing choices. I mean the real ones, the hardest ones?

God’s Word in the scripture above gives us the choices of life and prosperity and death and destruction; this scripture means something quite different to me these days. In Christianese we often hear “I set before you today life and death … what will you choose?” And by rote, knowing what we should say, most choose life.

I mean who wouldn’t? But what does the choice of life really mean? Does it mean just existing? Does it mean just living life by the seat of our pants? What does it really mean?

So we do our best to live this life as best we can and  then someone sets before us a diagnosis. Seemingly taking that choice away.

Oh how I wish they all knew our God and His promises. It would completely revolutionize how they treated all illnesses. If only they all believed. They would talk to their patients in positives and affirmations of life, not statistics and cold, sterile words of caution and fear.

Well we, as you know, were give such a diagnosis, with it’s deadly treatment and discouraging statistics.

So we made a choice. And while it was The Hubs who was ill, and ultimately his and God’s choice,  we made the choice of life, together. You see the Word is buried deeply within our hearts and we do our level best to obey it.

We’ve been given the faith the size of the mustard seed and we planted that seed and watered it with prayer and it grew.

So we made the choice of life, to live and increase and to be blessed in the land we were entering … and we entered the land of valley of the shadow of death. (Psalm 23) Notice it says “the shadow” of death, not death itself! Isn’t that a comfort!

And we’ve most definitely been blessed by so much in this season.

It’s a trial, a season, one of very hard work that stretches the emotions and the body erratically one day to the next.

We each wake to a choice, every morning. Will we live the day to it’s fullest or choose the alternative?

Well I have a very good friend and mentor whose favorite admonition to anything that doesn’t fit within the will of God and it goes like this: “Not ACCEPTABLE.”

She explained it this way to me and I choose to put everything through this God test … Anything that is not within the will of God it is unacceptable!

Cancer is not acceptable!

God is not willing  that any should perish, not one!  And we know this, The Hubs and I!

2 Peter 3:9 

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Happiness is a Choice!

Happiness is a Choice!

So we chose life … was there ever really another choice? If we are truly obedient to God then we have no alternative choice other than life … after all the alternative is unacceptable in God’s will and therefore in our true will, as well.

Blessings everyone, thanks for stopping by!

Andrea

Andrea

Tuesday @ Ten

Tuesday @ Ten


8 Comments

{I’ve been} READY | A FMF Post


It’s Friday [well almost] and I’m joining the Five Minute Friday group again. Just five minutes of writing what’s on my heart, from my heart, without worry about the perfection of my words. No edits, no spell checks just my heart and this blinking cursor in this WordPress box!

You can join us! If you need the skinny on the hows and whys check here.

This weeks prompt is … Ready!

Set … and Go!

Since September 3, 2013 I’ve been READY for this season to be over! Yes, from day one! And I ask, who would not be ready?

A cancer diagnosis does so much to a person in a years time; to a family, to a wife and to the afflicted! It changes everything!

For the most part The Hubs is doing amazingly well. I’ve read snippets and heard some about how lung cancer is a horrible thing. Well, duh! I’d say any cancer is a horrible thing! But he is really doing well. We’ve had some rough times here in Hutchland lately; this second round of chemo is rougher than the first round with the radiation. But they are being more aggressive because a “little” spot moved to his liver. Still … he’s up and doing his thing most days.

But we’re ready for this to be over! And God knows we are; though the docs are being the docs and saying what they have to say and it can be very discouraging! They see the improvements and raise their eyebrows in obvious disbelief when they hear his lung functioning normally when just a year ago it was completely closed. In fact they are more focused on the liver this round than the lung! Though it still causes them pause that the lung is functioning.

Yet their words are cautious and their prognosis is guarded.

They don’t know our God, I imagine. Their words betray their lack of knowledge of the promises. So we wait and see, they test and treat, and The Hubs is making his decisions whether or not to continue; which gives me pause.

But …. All in God’s timing right? We are ready whenever He is. Hopefully sooner than later!

Copyright © AHutchinsonPhotography™ 2007 - 2014- All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and/or photographs without express and written permission from the writer/photographer is strictly prohibited.

O’ Lord this man.
We declare and decree the Word of God.
“Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world.”
“By His stripes you are healed.”
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper.”
“You shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord.”
“Don’t forget the benefits of God. He heals all our diseases.”
“The Lord will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds.”
“Affliction will not rise up a second time.”
“The power of the Lord is present to heal you.”

Until then we hold firm to the promise of healing: “He sent out His Word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave.” Psalm 107:20

We’re READY!

STOP.

Andrea

Andrea

Copyright © AHutchinsonPhotography™ 2007 – 2014- All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and/or photographs without express and written permission from the writer/photographer is strictly prohibited.


4 Comments

I Believe God | A Tuesday at Ten Post


Believe God

Believe God

It’s Tuesday and it’s just past 10am. I’ve been waiting on this prompt since last night. Anxious to write again … I have much on my mind; much that God has placed in me. Where to start … Childlike Faith, or Healing or answers from heaven … where do I start.

Lately God has returned my ability to read; or maybe it’s just my need to be somewhere else in this season of trial. Still I believe God renewed my ability to read so that I could read books that would lead me to His truths about life and healing. The books I’ve been devouring lately: The Fault in Our Stars, Heaven is For Real and Healing the Sick. He’s pulling me closer to Him in this.

It’s been a year and two days since cancer showed up to test the very core of our faith; and it has put forth a formidable battle, but we know we win because we are in Christ.

So what do I believe?

I believe God.

I believe God is.

I believe that God is Love and that God Loves the children. I believe we are those children.

I believe that God is Who He is and that He will act accordingly.

I believe that God’s character is something that I can completely submit to.

I believe that I can rest in Him; intimately and actively.

I believe in healing; that it is for today and that it is complete.

I believe:

  • “Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world.”
  • “By His stripes you are healed.”
  • “No weapon formed against you shall prosper.”
  • “You shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord.”
  • “Don’t forget the benefits of God. He heals all our diseases.”
  • “The Lord will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds.”
  • “Affliction will not rise up a second time.”
  • “The power of the Lord is present to heal you.”

I believe prayer changes things and moves the hand of God. {I believe that prayer is the only thing that moves the Hand of God!}

  • Oh, Lord I believe, help me with my unbelief!  Mark 9:24

I could go on forever with this … on and on and on to infinity. But how does what I believe help in this trial here in Hutchland?

Belief is a tricky thing in my thinking. You see I think to “believe in” is incomplete; it allows for fantasy, magical thinking and those things allow doubt. I don’t believe “in” God…

I BELIEVE GOD!

Believing God helps me in a way that I’m having trouble expressing. It’s all the reading really; so much information being processed.

It’s this: I believe God at His word. I have to! At almost 50 I’ve embraced my need for control and full information; there are just things in life that I cannot control; there are things in this life that ONLY GOD controls! And if I think about it that is such a relief! I don’t have to worry about the outcome, Father God has the answer, and will tell me in His time. I can simply go about living our life to the fullest, enjoying the quality and abundance of the moment to moment in this trial.

God is the first man that I could trust, my husband the second. Only those two do I believe … and when I cannot trust or believe what I am seeing or hearing or experiencing I BELIEVE GOD.

It’s that simple.

It wasn’t always this way; in fact I’m sure there are still areas, hidden at present, of my life, where I will still have to work on. But after “c” they will be quickly managed and set right.

It’s simple; I look around me and I believe  our Father Creator exists.

One, I’m alive and I shouldn’t be (that’s another post). Two, I was allowed to create two perfect lives in my sons. We were created in his image therefore we are able to create!

I look around at the trees and the flowers and the clouds and just all this wondrous beauty and I think, ‘how can I not believe?’

I believe God at His Word. I believe His promises. I believe His love.

I BELIEVE GOD!

John 3:14-18—And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

How could I not? =)

Andrea

Andrea

Tuesday @ Ten

Tuesday @ Ten